Native

Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God

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About

Native is about identity, soul-searching, and the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her Potawatomi identity both informs and challenges her faith.

Curtice draws on her personal journey, poetry, imagery, and stories of the Potawatomi people to address themes at the forefront of today's discussions of faith and culture in a positive and constructive way. She encourages us to embrace our own origins and to share and listen to each other's stories so we can build a more inclusive and diverse future. Each of our stories matters for the church to be truly whole. As Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage, she reveals that a vibrant spirituality has its origins in identity, belonging, and a sense of place.

Contents

Introduction
Part 1: Beginnings
1. Land and Water
2. Journeying Stories
3. Creation Stories
4. My Own Beginning
Part 2: Searching for Meaning
5. The Problem of Whiteness
6. Stereotypes and Survival
7. A Heart Language
8. Gifts of Prayer
Part 3: The Struggle for Truth
9. Ceremony
10. Ancestors
11. Self, Examined
12. The Pain of Church Spaces
Part 4: Working
13. Wake-Up Calls
14. When the Church Gets to Work
15. Keeping Watch
16. Fighting Invisibility
Part 5: Bearing Fruit in a New World
17. Finding One Another
18. The Future of Decolonization
19. Returning
20. A New World for Our Children
Afterword


Endorsements

"Kaitlin Curtice is one of the braver writers I know. She won't smooth any edges for you, and she won't let you change the subject, but she'll support you digging as deeply for your roots as she has for hers."

Barbara Brown Taylor, bestselling author of Holy Envy and Learning to Walk in the Dark

"It isn't very often that a book about identity--let alone dismantling white supremacy and patriarchy--reads like a poem, but that's Kaitlin. She is thoughtful decolonization set to music and wrapped in love. Her story is compelling and healing, and her path is an invitation to all of us, even as she challenges our assumptions and imaginations. I treasure each of these sacred words, rooted in her story and in the larger stories we still carry. This book can make all of us both more free and more connected to one another."

Sarah Bessey, author of Miracles and Other Reasonable Things and Jesus Feminist

"There is no doubt that Christianity has been the handmaiden to the destruction of Indigenous nations. Native is more than Kaitlin Curtice's testament. It is an indigenization of faith and, more important, a moral call not only for the Christian church but for everyone to reckon with the genocidal legacies of US settler colonialism and African slavery. As she humbly puts it, decolonization is an invitation and a gift for humankind to re-establish correct relations with each other--and the earth."

Nick Estes, cofounder of The Red Nation and author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance

"In the pages of Native, Kaitlin B. Curtice is a poet, professor, storyteller, and unapologetic truth-teller. This book is required reading for all those committed to learning the truth about the land we live on and the institutions we live inside of. It both stretched me and comforted me--it called me out and called me home. Curtice is a vital artist and teacher, and Native is her most important offering yet. It will remain on my shelf forever."

Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed and founder of Together Rising

"In Native, Curtice reminds us why our humanity matters--to explore the divine, to practice solidarity with one another, and to learn to be humble caretakers of this world. She is a brave truth-teller and a prophetic voice we need to be listening to, and Native is a book that will guide us toward a better future."

Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation

"In Native, Curtice takes the reader along as she bravely weaves together her spiritual, tribal, religious, cultural, and familial history into a cord that anchors her as she makes sense of her self, her world, and her identity. After reading this book, I may just touch a tree now and again and see it as prayer. I'm so grateful for Curtice's voice."

Nadia Bolz-Weber, bestselling author, speaker, and public theologian

"Native is both an expansive meditation on faith through a Potawatomi lens and a powerful vision of living in relationship with divinity and in the world--one that is urgently needed today. Curtice is an essential voice."

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Surprised by God and Nurture the Wow


The Author

  1. Kaitlin B. Curtice
    © Amy Paulson Photography www.amy-paulson.com

    Kaitlin B. Curtice

    Kaitlin B. Curtice is a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation as well as a Christian, public speaker, and poet. She travels around the country speaking on faith and justice within the church as it relates to Indigenous peoples and has been a featured speaker...

    Continue reading about Kaitlin B. Curtice

Reviews

"An inherently fascinating, impressively thoughtful, and thought-provoking read throughout, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God is an extraordinary combination of personal memories, Native American stories, and religiously oriented insights from a Christian perspective. . . . .Especially recommended for community, church, seminary, and academic library Christian Spirituality collections."

Wisconsin Bookwatch


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